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"Common things of daily use..." were described by Gertrude Jekyll as part of a local scene which, at the end of the nineteenth century, was rapidly changing. As part of these changes, such 'things', she noted, "...passed into dealers hands and are now sold as curiosities and antiquities." Jekyll's observations were made in her book, Old West Surrey, in which she recorded the objects and activities which had been part of daily life.
Hundreds of 'common things' have been donated to Godalming Museum. The design of some, like the rushlight in this part of The Collections, hardly changed over hundreds of years. Other items, such as the trade token, came about because of contemporary circumstances (in this case a shortage of small coins) and were used for only a limited time.
Some of these items have long since gone out of use and we rely on historical research or accounts to trace their origins and the part they played in everyday life. Others have not entirely gone from memory, such as the washing mangle. The contrast between present-day methods of cleaning laundry and memories of past 'washdays' (which are recorded in the Museum) is very striking.
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